Madison, again

Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 6th, 2007, 1:00 am #1

I noticed in a June issue of the Madison Marcher that Tom Haddon joined the Madison church team as the involvement minister. I suppose that to mean that Tom now will be paid to be involved with the assembly.

The Madison church could be consider large in size by some standards. It tends to follow that some may attend Madison because they like larger size churches.

It would also seem that Tom has been given a rather unusual assignment. His job is not to bring people together but rather to break them apart, i.e. take a large number of people and break them up into small groups.

The Marcher reports Tom as saying: “I would love to see every member involved in a small group, and I would love to see every member discover a ministry they have a passion for."

Why attend 'big' only to be put into 'small'? And why bring on more division in an already divided church? They already have two worship services that are total opposed to each other!

Lest ye think me to be critical of one church, this could be said of a few other churches.

While we may disagree with one another on the church 'management' of breaking down the whole into 'bits n pieces' we must look to our Bible as the guide given to man as to how an assembly is to function.

A general study of the New Testament will prove that some elders today continue to add 'offices' to the church that were not created by the Holy Spirit.

Tis a sad day indeed when a church has to pay a man to try to get the members involved! Of course they could be paying Tom to try to get him invlolved. Maybe Tom is a slacker. Then again maybe Tom will take this assignment at no church to the church.

Tom was quoted: “When we discover those, the family of God becomes more alive —more meaningful. It becomes a place where we want to be..."

If it becomes a place where Tom wants to be, (I assume he does not want to be there as it is), maybe Tom will not charge God's people but do it out of love for the church.

If Tom recieves no money for this meager task of creating division in a congregation it would still be wrong for the 'ministry of involvement' is not a part of the Church of Christ. Check your Bible!

In Christ,
Jimmy

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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 6th, 2007, 3:31 pm #2

Just a casual reading of the epistles of Paul leads one to understand that elders are put over the flock as shepherds. As shepherds they are to be people who are apt to teach, people who are capable of teaching, feeding, the flock that they are among.

There are no examples in the New Testament of elders paying a hireling to do their job. Since there is no example of such a practice in the New Testament, there cannot be found Scriptural qualifications for such a person. When the Holy Spirit ordained offices in the church, qualifications were given by the Holy Spirit, not the spirit of the elders. What qualifications did the elders require of an involvement minister?

Should the involvement minister be the husband of one wife? Should the involvement minister have believing children? Should an involvement minister’s wife be a keeper at home?

Since Madison has a number of elders and the involvement minister will now be doing each of their jobs, will the involvement minister receive pay equal to each elder? How much money should the elders take from their own purse to pay the person?

I believe that if the elders are going to pass their responsibility on to a hireling they should pay him a handsome sum.

In Christ,
Jimmy
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Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

August 7th, 2007, 8:59 pm #3

I think that having an Involvement Minister at Madison is a good thing. I know that when I attend a large church I don't always know how to go about seeking ministry opportunities. An Involvement Minister can assist a member in areas of ministry and help that member have a closer walk with the Lord. Who would be against that ??
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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 8th, 2007, 4:31 am #4

Hi wordkeeper. Word, I will agree with you that some 'weak' people, may feel some kind of special empowerment by the special attention of an 'involvement minister.' There are people who work out with a 'special trainer' for a while. But they 'dump' the trainer as soon as they reach their goal.

Do you suppose this church will dump the 'involvement minister' when they reach their goal? Does the church even have a goal?

Back to your comment about it being a good 'thing'. I would ask the questions: Do you not get anything out of Phil's sermons? Do his sermons not give you anything to work with?

Do your elders give you anything to work with?

Why are you not involved with the work of the church already?

Wordkeeper, what do you do when you see a person in need? Do you attempt to help or pass on by? If you offer help then you have done the work that God called you to do.

Do you think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family?

Did you know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. These are the top four.

Do you realize that a great portion ot the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family? With benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day!

But that's another problem with the 'buddy' system in the Madison church.

My complaint is that the New Testament does not allow for an 'involvement minister.' If so would you please point me to the passage.

In Christ,
Jimmy
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Chris
Chris

August 8th, 2007, 5:29 pm #5

Jimmy,

As I read through your latest addition to this discussion I couldn't help but wonder about a few of the things you said. Would you be so kind as to answer my questions about those comments?

First, where did you get your information about the top four choices of people making a living is through: welfare, paying job at a church, paying job with the government and owning your own business? Where is the research for that claim and who performed the research? Could you simply provide link for us to follow so that we could read this for ourselves?

Second, what do YOU do whenever you see a person in need? Do you attempt to help, or do you walk on without even an attempt to help the one in need? Do you supply food for the one holding the "Will work for food sign" or provide transportation to the one without? Do you help every person who needs help?

Third, what is the goal of the church where you attend? If your goal this year is to share Jesus with 50 people in your community, and you reach this goal, does that mean that next year there will be no goal for sharing Jesus with others you didn't reach the previous year? Will you not seek to reach more next year simply because you met your goal this year?

How much is one soul worth to you? If, by your figures ($200 a day for 365 days = $73,000), one soul was converted, would the money spent have been worth it? If a soul is priceless, isn't $73,000 a bargain? Are you prepared to stand before God and offer your defense on what is and isn't a proper amount to spend for one soul to know and accept Jesus?

I thank you in advance for your time in answering these thought that crossed my mind as I read your post.
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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 9th, 2007, 1:39 am #6

Chris, thanks for your comments.

In order for us to have a discussion you should answer the questions that I raised in the above post.

I will then be glad to answer your questions.

In Christ,
Jimmy
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Jimmy Wren
Jimmy Wren

August 9th, 2007, 4:09 pm #7

Chris, you seem to be laboring under the notion that the 'Involvement Minister' will win souls to Christ. The Madison Marcher does not list that as a part of his paying job.

Here is what the Marcher reports: 'So — if you’re interested in finding or starting a Care Group where you can get connected with other family members — or if you’re wanting to discover a ministry that needs someone with your strengths and talents — contact Tom at 860-3297.'

It appears that Tom is paid to find 'ministries' that others people cannot find. Since Tom is now paid to do his 'ministry' of finding 'ministries' for other people, will these new found 'ministers' also be paid from the church treasury to do the work of there new found 'ministry?'

In Christ,
Jimmy
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Chris
Chris

August 10th, 2007, 12:22 am #8

Chris, thanks for your comments.

In order for us to have a discussion you should answer the questions that I raised in the above post.

I will then be glad to answer your questions.

In Christ,
Jimmy
Jimmy,

I appreciate your promise to answer my questions when I answer the ones you asked of wordkeeper. I will add, as I begin, that I don't attend Madison and didn't feel that your questions could be answered by me, but, I will answer them regardless.

First, No, I don't think the church will dump the involvement minister when they reach their goal. My answer is based on my belief that churches should always have goals, whether as individuals or as a group. Just because one goal is reached doesn't mean the work is complete. Remember the song, we'll work till Jesus comes!

As far as whether or not the church even has a goal is beyond me as I am not a member of that congregation. However, even though I am not a graduate of some Ivy League school, I can deduct that the church has a goal, hence the hiring of someone to help them meet that goal. I would probably say the stated goal is to get more members, if not all, involved in more of the work of the church.

Second, I don't know who Phil is, have never heard him preach and don't know if I will ever meet him or hear him. Therefore, I guess I get nothing from his sermons, which would definitely imply that I receive nothing with which to work.

Third, again, I am not a member at Madison and can't answer this question. However, let me state that the elders where I worship and serve are great leaders who challenge and provide ample opportunities for us to serve and even equip us for the work. So, yes, my elders to give me something with which to work.

Fourth, I am involved where I worship and serve. As far as wordkeeper, I have not clue.

Fifth, what do I do whenever I see a person in need? I seek to help, realizing that opportunity coupled with ability means I am responsible before God to help the one in need. By that, I realize there are times when I have opportunity to help, but not the ability, unless I know of others who have that ability, which means the best I can do is put them in contact with someone who can help. If I have the ability, but never an opportunity, then I am not held responsible. I am sure you can understand my point.

Sixth, do I think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family? I guess the answer to that question depends on what the person quit his job for. If he quit his job to sit on his couch and play video games all day then I would say his doing so would equate him with an infidel, perhaps worse. However, if he quit his secular job to devote his life to the work of the Lord, whether domestic or foreign soil, then a laborer is worth of his hire. In fact, I don't think the apostle Paul had any difficulty with one receiving support for his family while he was performing the work of the Lord. Correct me if I am wrong on that statement.

Seventh, no, I did not know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. I think that is WHY I asked for your research and a link so that I could view it for myself.

Eighth, yes, I do realize that a great portion of the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family. And, yes, with benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day! Please refer to my initial post and address the comments I made in regards to your question. I eagerly await your insight.

Ninth, I understand that your complaint is that you do not believe the New Testament allows for an involvement minister. Do you think the New Testament allows for a minister? If so, is the only thing you have problems with is the title "Involvement Minister"? Would it make you happy if they just called him "Minister Also" or "Minister Too"?

If you believe the New Testament allows for a minister, do you believe each church to be limited to only one? IF so, what passage would indicate that? And, if there is no limit to the number of ministers a congregation could have, is it necessarily sinful if the elders choose to give one a designatory title to differentiate one from another?

Jimmy, I have answered your questions and now await your promised response. Thank you in advance.
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Chris
Chris

August 10th, 2007, 12:33 am #9

Chris, you seem to be laboring under the notion that the 'Involvement Minister' will win souls to Christ. The Madison Marcher does not list that as a part of his paying job.

Here is what the Marcher reports: 'So — if you’re interested in finding or starting a Care Group where you can get connected with other family members — or if you’re wanting to discover a ministry that needs someone with your strengths and talents — contact Tom at 860-3297.'

It appears that Tom is paid to find 'ministries' that others people cannot find. Since Tom is now paid to do his 'ministry' of finding 'ministries' for other people, will these new found 'ministers' also be paid from the church treasury to do the work of there new found 'ministry?'

In Christ,
Jimmy
Jimmy,

Actually I am under no such laboring notion that the "Involvement Minister" will win souls to Christ. The assumption that I am under is that the "Involvement Minister" is the one who will labor as he seeks to edify and encourage members to become more active and involved in the work of the church.

Also, I would believe that Tom, being a child of God, understands his personal responsibility of reaching out to the lost just as you and I understand our personal responsibilities to do such.

According to your demonstrated understanding of all of this, I would suggest that you are the one who labors under the misunderstanding that "listed job duties" and "given titles" are the only thing one is required to do. Meaning, his title as Involvement Minister and listed duties of helping others find ministry opportunities is ALL he will be doing as one of the ministers of the Madison church. Does that mean that the Preaching Minister, if they have one, is only to preach and nothing else?

I await your response and look forward to the discussions to come.
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Joined: February 27th, 2006, 10:01 pm

August 13th, 2007, 4:56 am #10

Hi wordkeeper. Word, I will agree with you that some 'weak' people, may feel some kind of special empowerment by the special attention of an 'involvement minister.' There are people who work out with a 'special trainer' for a while. But they 'dump' the trainer as soon as they reach their goal.

Do you suppose this church will dump the 'involvement minister' when they reach their goal? Does the church even have a goal?

Back to your comment about it being a good 'thing'. I would ask the questions: Do you not get anything out of Phil's sermons? Do his sermons not give you anything to work with?

Do your elders give you anything to work with?

Why are you not involved with the work of the church already?

Wordkeeper, what do you do when you see a person in need? Do you attempt to help or pass on by? If you offer help then you have done the work that God called you to do.

Do you think it is right for a person who has a job, is working and supporting his family, contributing to the work of the church, to quite his job and let the church take care of him and his family?

Did you know that the top four choices of people in making a living is: 4) through welfare, 2) a paying job at a church, 3) a paying job with the gov't, 1) own your own business. These are the top four.

Do you realize that a great portion ot the Lord's money will now be spent on supporting this person and family? With benefits it could easily run $200.00 plus per day!

But that's another problem with the 'buddy' system in the Madison church.

My complaint is that the New Testament does not allow for an 'involvement minister.' If so would you please point me to the passage.

In Christ,
Jimmy
Brother Wren,

I don't know if you have heard of my background as I grew up in the churches of Christ for most of my young adult years but after a long journey of searching the scriptures I am now affiliated with the Assemblies of God, a charismatic Christian church. I have never attended the Madison church but I came upon this web site after a coworker told me about the problems that some of you all are having with the changes that have taken place several years ago. So I have never heard this Phil person that you referenced in this thread.

As far as a biblical examble of special ministries I would refer you to Acts 6 where the early church had concern that the service of widows detracted from their primary duty of preaching and teaching the word. What was their solution ? Was it to say 'hey the church only preaches and teaches the gospel message and its tough luck for these old women?' NO ! They appointed seven men full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit to tend to this special ministry of serving the widows. So, yes, there is a biblical example of special ministries. If you read what Jesus had to say about meeting the needs of mankind in Matthew 25 in the parable of the sheep and the goats the needs include: material needs, spiritual needs, emotional needs, medical and health needs, and so on and so forth to include the wide spectrum of fulfilling the commands of Christ to meet the needs of lost souls.

So I do not have a problem of a special ministry of Involvement as long as there is a genuine need for members to have support to be connected to a large congregation.
Just yesterday I passed by the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville where their membership has skyrocketed from just over 3,000 to now 10,165 people who are members of that large church. I have heard (I do not know if it is true since I have never attended there) that Southeast Church has over 20 full time ministers and I would think that they would have at least one person who helps members feel more involved with church work through small groups ministries. Now I have to ask you, Brother Wren, even the most conservative churches of Christ that have 300 or more members employ more than one person to meet the needs of the congregation, do you not think that aside from the titles, that there would be at least one minister who is involved with congregational care ? Even if that person is called Associate Minister or whatever, I would think that whoever that person is would be interested in the well-being of the members of the congregation.

While we are discussing special ministries I have to relate a story of a friend of mine who moved from Lexington, Kentucky to Indianapolis. I helped him move all his belongings and when we arrived at his new house there were five men from a Community Church ready to help us. It seems that these men already knew when my friend would be moving in to his new house and this community church has a special ministry of helping people move into new homes. The minister who organized this group had the title Ministry of Greetings and Helps. And that is not all. One of the women of the congregation brought over some food that evening and she had the title Ministry of Greetings and Pies. Kind of funny but her specialty was baking pies and the title semed to fit her.

So, yes, I believe in special ministries within the church; whether it is counseling (I have even heard of a ministry of sexual health counseling), Christian Education, Evangelism, Involvement, Benevolency, etc. the list goes on and on. Where is the scriptual authority for such ministries ? Acts 6: 1-7.

God Bless you Brother and I hope that you have a good week.

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